I’ve been pretty frustrated with always having to either use really high speed film or push film during the development process to get reasonably exposed photos indoors, and I finally pulled the trigger on getting an old school handlemount flash – Sunpak 622 – to pair with my Mamiya TLR. I was a bit nervous about getting something like that from the big auction site since I know very little about handle mount flashes and I wanted some guarantee that it would work, so when one in good condition became available at KEH I jumped at the opportunity. I decided to play with it with my digital camera first to gain some familiarity before using it with film, and I was completely blown away with how powerful and versatile it is. You know that feeling when you can suddenly shoot at 100 ISO in a darkish room with a bounce flash with 1/125 sec, and 1/200 sec, and 1/250 sec, and you just keep going because you are having too much fun and then you forget that your digital camera has a max sync speed of 1/250 sec. Mine actually did pretty well also at 1/320 sec, but at 1/500 sec the bottom quarter of the image suddenly was more or less blacked out. That was a harsh reminder that my digital camera lacks the lovely leaf shutter of my beloved Mamiya TLR that can sync at any speed.
As it turns out, that mistake of shooting at 1/500 sec with the flash was my favorite photo of the bunch. I brought back a little bit of detail in post in the shadows where the shutter curtain of my camera didn’t have time to fully open and darkened the top a bit to balance the image, and it looked better to me in monochrome than color, just as most photos do, but it really required very little work. That Sunpak flash is absolutely amazing and it creates beautiful light when bounced.
(90mm, ISO 100, f/3.2, 1/500 sec + hammerhead flash bounced from wall)